CEO-to-Employee Pay Ratio and CEO Diversity
Alan, N.S., Bardos, K.S. and Shelkova, N.Y. (2020), "CEO-to-employee pay ratio and CEO diversity", Managerial Finance, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/MF-03-2020-0107
51 Pages Posted: 22 Sep 2020 Last revised: 29 Sep 2020
Date Written: August 30, 2020
The motivation behind Section 953(b) of Dodd-Frank Act was the increasing pay inequality and supposed CEOs’ rent extraction. It required public companies to disclose CEO-to-employee pay ratios. Using the ratios reported by S&P1500 firms in 2017-18, this paper examines whether companies led by women and minority CEOs have lower ratios than those led by white male CEOs. Results indicate that CEO-to-employee pay ratios are 22-28% higher for female CEOs compared to their male counterparts, controlling for other determinants of pay ratios. There is, however, no statistically significant difference between the pay ratios of minority vs. white male CEOs. Minority female CEOs have lower CEO-to-employee pay ratios than white female CEOs. Consistent with literature, larger and more profitable firms have higher CEO-to-employee pay ratios. While prior studies on determinants of CEO-to-employee pay ratios have used either industry-level or self-reported data for a small subset of firms (resulting in selection bias), this paper uses firm-level data that is available for all S&P 1500 firms because of new disclosure requirements due to the Dodd-Frank Act Section 953(b). Moreover, this is the first paper to test whether gender or ethnicity of a CEO affects within-firm pay inequality.
Keywords: CEO-to-employee pay ratio, Pay ratio, Dodd-Frank Act, Section 953(b), Executive compensation, Median employee pay, Female CEO compensation, Minority CEO compensation
JEL Classification: G30, G34, J31, J33, J41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation